I was raised Methodist as a young child, although I’m not sure much of anything sunk in or stuck. I didn’t like church, didn’t want to be there and didn’t remember any of it. I’m still very grateful (now) that my mom “dragged me to church!” I didn’t have any association with religion, faith, or church from those early years up through college and beyond. In high school and college, I pursued science actively, and loved math, physics, astronomy and cosmology, and therefore attended university for physics.
I then married and lived without any religion or God for about 13 years. I just did what the world did, got married, found a good job, worked hard, etc…and I surely considered myself to be a “good person” and not “as bad as others”. I didn’t do drugs (then) or steal (much) and was (generally) honest (I thought). I thought that religion and God and all that “spiritual” stuff was utter nonsense and rubbish.
Then about age 35 I got divorced, which was a difficult time for me. It was at this time I started enjoying alcohol also. Little did I know where that would lead. It was at this time that while I was driving home from work when out of the blue, I saw and felt a “desire” to turn into this church parking lot and get information. I had no clue what the church was. I then decided to go there for a few times to “just see” and who knows, maybe meet a girl also (just being honest); that was Scottsdale Bible Church. Through the very solid teachings of Pastor Darryl DelHousaye (a funny Cajun but with a sincere passion for truth and the Lord), I came to meet God and believe in Christ. I’m very thankful to Pastor Darryl for his way of helping explain difficult topics (for me) that had caused me to stay far far away from “religion”. After all, I was a scientist, needed facts and proof, and all this “God” stuff was just made up nonsense.
I got a Bible but didn’t read it, except for a few Bible studies I went to. I do remember starting to see Scripture starting to reveal itself to me (I now know that was by the Spirit) but I didn’t follow through or keep at it, not at all. I was baptized, but it turns out (looking back), I never ever really turned my life over to the Lord! Was I really saved? Read on…
In fact, I started working more than ever, got remarried, and just “carried on” as usual as if nothing happened. I ended up working 18 hrs/day 7 days/week, for 10+ years. I didn’t realize it at this time but I was also an alcoholic, but it wasn’t a problem at that time, so I didn’t know it. No one told me either, but even if they had, I wouldn’t have believed them.
Then a move to a different city, and finally the addiction took over, and I went downhill. Sunk pretty low, depression, anxiety, another divorce, etc… Luckily for me, I never once ever touched hard drugs, or it would have been over for me for sure. Alcohol though is more insidious and silent but nonetheless just as dangerous and destructive. So even after becoming saved, I was thereafter prodigal/apostate/back-sliding for about 13 years, because I was also trapped in an addiction that I didn’t even know about at first. Another divorce and then other problems, and so forth all finally climaxed as I hit a bottom.
Those who are unsaved who are also in an addiction don’t know it, but they are doubly lost! First to the addiction, and then even to the Lord if they somehow manage to get out of their addition by themselves or the help of others. Christ can solve both (at the same time)! 🙂
Christ revealed Himself to me again, in an attempt to draw me back, for which I am ever thankful and grateful. I need to emphasize that I didn’t reach out to Him at all, it was He that came (again) to me! I had completely discarded Him (again) after being saved, as the world, and addiction, slowly dragged me back into it’s net of destruction. That’s how the world and Satan work! I’ve examined myself hard to see if I was really and truly saved at that prior confession time (13 years prior), and I have to say yes. At that time in my life, I confessed Jesus with all the heart, mind and soul I had at the time. I didn’t “pretend” to confess, it was completely genuine and real. However, if I had died in that state, I would have been the most surprised person in heaven to wake up there. Some will argue I wasn’t saved, but how about we all just ask Jesus when we see Him, only God knows a man’s heart.
I did learn this huge lesson however, that unless you start to walk like a Christian (and bear fruit), then the world and sin will again try to destroy you. I want to stress again that it wasn’t until I finally turned my life over to the will of God, that things (instantly) changed. The addiction was gone instantly. I had believed in God, but I had not submitted to God. This leads to another purpose for this site: no one taught me how to walk as a Christian! I’m not blaming anyone, perhaps they tried and I didn’t listen but no matter. So the second purpose for this site is to help new Christians know what to do, even day by day, each and every day, so they don’t go apostate/prodigal/backslide like I did. The steps are very simple really (daily get on your knees and submit to God, pray constantly, read the Bible, love and serve others), but there are many (many!) tedious details to decide (even very simple things for example: what Bible do I read? which church do I go to? who do I trust?, etc).
Since that time a few years back now, I’ve gone from sitting on the floor in a closet in depression clutching a bottle, to being sent nearly around the world 2 times in a couple years! But the key is staying close to Jesus, each day, and every day, no matter what…hence the naming of this site.